Clippers vs Thunder Playoffs Gm. #6 Game Thread 2014-05-15

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clipper*joe
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Posted May 14 2014 8:42PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul's teammates figure he might need more time to fully recover from his role in one of the ugliest playoff collapses in NBA history.

With the Los Angeles Clippers' season riding on Game 6, Paul knows he doesn't have that luxury.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are back at Staples Center on Thursday night, and the Clippers must shelve their memories of the mistakes late in Game 5 that cost them a chance to close out the series at home.

Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford went to work on Paul's mind on the bus ride to their flight home from Oklahoma City after the Clippers blew a 13-point lead in just over four minutes. The fiasco culminated in the All-Star point guard's touch foul on Russell Westbrook to set up the winning free throws, sandwiched between two brutal turnovers by Paul - all in the final 14 seconds.

"He was visibly upset, and I told him that game is not on one guy," Griffin said Wednesday at the Clippers' training complex. "It's not on him. We made plenty of mistakes down the stretch, plenty of mistakes throughout the game that could ultimately change the outcome. That idea that the game is on him, you understand what he's saying, but it's not on him by any means. We still have two games left to play."

The Clippers' roller coaster of a postseason has careened into another valley after the Thunder stormed back from near-certain defeat with the help of Paul's mistakes and a much-debated out-of-bounds call with 11.3 seconds left.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers hadn't changed his opinion one day after declaring the Clippers "were robbed" on that call, although he said he won't file any formal protest. The NBA issued a statement Wednesday night saying the call was made correctly in the absence of clear evidence to change it on replay review.

Paul still appeared glum, giving short, clipped answers to questions about his turnovers and the Clippers' ability to bounce back in Game 6.

"I woke up this morning with a beautiful wife and two beautiful kids," Paul said. "At the end of the day, it is basketball, but there's a lot of guys' livelihoods who depend on it, so I've got to do my part."

After three weeks of a circus atmosphere around the Clippers, Rivers still believes his young team has gathered enough resilience to force the series back to Oklahoma City for a deciding game. The Clippers played 43 outstanding minutes in Game 5 to reach the brink of what could have been a benchmark victory in a shift of the Western Conference hierarchy, only to let it slip away.

Rivers thinks it's a lesson the Clippers needed.

"You don't win it easy," Rivers said. "We're trying to do something special here and be something special. And if you're trying to stand out in any job, it's going to be hard. You're going to face adversity, and you've just got to accept that that's part of the process. Yeah, this is hard. It's supposed to be. And that's the only thing I told our guys. What's going on right now is exactly what should happen to win. You have to go through stuff to win, and you've just got to deal with it."

The Thunder traveled to the West Coast on Wednesday with a bit of house money after the comeback by Westbrook and Kevin Durant, who combined for 17 of Oklahoma City's 19 points in the final 9 1/2 minutes while Los Angeles fumbled, stumbled and finally crashed. Oklahoma City could advance to its third Western Conference final in four years with a victory in Game 6.

But the Thunder also recall their own collapse in Game 4 at Staples Center, where they blew a 16-point lead with nine minutes left last weekend. Game 5 told coach Scott Brooks plenty about his team's tenacity.

"I like the fact that we did that after the game before," Brooks said. "We had a lot of opportunities to win that game."

Neither team has been significantly better in this series: Los Angeles has cumulatively outscored the Thunder 540-539 through five games, with Oklahoma City's two-man offensive game countering the Clippers' more balanced attack.

But even after the exhaustion of a seven-game first-round series with Golden State and the continuing drama surrounding owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban, the Clippers' leaders think they've still got more fight.

"I think we've done a pretty good job this season and in the postseason of putting things in the past and just moving forward," said Griffin, who leads the Clippers with 24.2 points per game in the series.

http://www.nba.com/games/20140515/OKCLAC/gameinfo.htm

ClippersDA
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Repped High Quality Post

One game at a time. Each game is it's own story

tense2
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There you go. This is going 7.

Clipperfan9
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No matter what we had to win 2. We got our crowd behind us and hopefully some extra motivation to take these guys down. If we can defend KD half as well as we did last game (and let's be honest, how many of his 18+ FT's did he actually deserve?), and assume Westbrook is going to stop hitting his three ball, we are golden. Clippers are the stronger team, no doubt. Can't live in the past.

ClippersDA
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Can't even think about game 7. One game at a time. Let's win tomorrow. I'm a negative Nancy but I just have a funny feeling about this (in a good way)

tense2
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Yep, OGAAT (one game at a time). Very Happy

Clipperfn4lf
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Don't expect any calls so 5 vs 8, but I still think we can pull this win off then come game 7 anything is possible.

JQuick32
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IMO, it's damn near a guarantee that Pierce is a Clipper next year.... not that I particularly want him, because he'll just be another Gomes, Caron or Dudley at this point.

gman
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Rep for finally turning it around and being positive!!

jarca
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JQuick32 wrote:

IMO, it's damn near a guarantee that Pierce is a Clipper next year.... not that I particularly want him, because he'll just be another Gomes, Caron or Dudley at this point.

If Marion wants to take pay cut I'd rather have him.

JQuick32
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Marion would be a great consolation prize if we can't get Ariza.

ClippersDA
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Guys we will be lucky if we can sign D leaguers - you are forgetting that players won't come here with this sterling stuff going on. And who knows how long this will drag on

clippyclip
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I want to hear Staples going nuts all night. I think they are going to come out with some crazy intensity and focus, and I'm saying now this one will be a pretty easy win. Go Clips!

lobcityhawaii
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Hopefully! If I could go, I would bring signs about how much the NBA loves okc and how the refs cheated us.

JQuick32
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Sterling's done and getting voted out, period.

ClippersDA
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When he files a lawsuit - the sale will be put on hold. That can go on for years

sz123456
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Not satisfied with just a W, I want Hollins and his elbows to have an impact if you catch my drift. They get away with grabbing and punching testicles, let's see what Ryan can get away with.

A7XDreamTheaterClipps
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I think the Demons of last game will still be in CP's head so the rest of the team really needs to step it up. Especially Blake and DJ.

ClippersDA
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I think Chris will be fired up.

lobcityhawaii
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Well DJ has to play more than 20 minutes to step up. He would play more if the refs don't call him for fouls on flops.

JQuick32
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There is zero chance any lawsuit drags on just for the simple fact that any judge worth their salt will laugh him out of court because he agreed to the moral/ethics contracts and league constitution. Total non-starter. It also doesn't help Donald that he's asked around and been turned down by numerous high-profile law firms who want nothing to do with him.

He is gone, period.

ClippersDA
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I think he and Shelly are gone but it's not going to be as quick and easy as you think.

JQuick32
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Even if he doesn't get laughed out of court, I could see the NBA settling with Donald just to make him and his hag wife go away.

sz123456
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Blake likes it when the focus is not entirely on him. He will play loose and dominate tomorrow

WinningBasket
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Tony Parker suffered an injury (hamstring) and will not return to the game tonight. If he is hampered in any way going forward, Spurs are really vulnerable. Clippers need to win this series and be at the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs!

Time to win Game 6 and 7!

Bingo3
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He'll be looking for redemption. I think he dominates tomorrow

BaadMaster
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The reason we will finally get decent reffing Thursday can be spelled with three letters -- D.O.C.

During this post season, I was wondering why Doc bit his tongue at the awful, biased officiating. I was hoping he would do a Phil Jackson and call them out. But now I see the method in his madness. He waited for the right time, after all the fixing, all the bad calls and all the obvious thievery until he had the moral authority to challenge the refs. He waited until his diatribe would not be called "sour grapes." Doc was right -- and he put the NBA on notice -- no more outright stealing of games.

And I think we will see the more traditional home-court reffing from now on -- the kind I grew up with until this new "star-o-centric" reffing.

Given what I call "passive reffing" -- the type that does not change the total outcome of the game -- we will win this series.

ClipperPostman
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Clippers man handled okc all last game, shouldn't be any different. No one had a career night, and that's the way it should. We have so much firepower if everyone finds ways to contribute we can easily beat okc again

CP3Best
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When will we see Blake on Durant for a stretch of time? That has worked, is Doc saving it for game 7?

RonD
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Best believe OKC will try to finish us with the news of Parker. We can't let that happen!

ClippersDA
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They weren't scared of spurs anyway

ClippersDA
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I'm slipping into despair again. Was all

Positive and now I'm feeling like this hill is too steep.

Okc is tough out

puddnhead83
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The clippers need to continue to attack OKC and not worry about the the clock. So far OKC hasn't shown they can control the Clippers offense.

cleepers
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ClippersDA wrote:
One game at a time. Each game is it's own story

Who are you, and what have you done with ClippersDA?

ClippersDA wrote:
I'm slipping into despair again. Was all

Positive and now I'm feeling like this hill is too steep.

Okc is tough out

Never mind. He's back.

ClippersDA
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I go back and forth. I feel good and then I remember last night and become depressed. I think we can win two and then I remember the refs won't let it happen

comeONcraig
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Sorry for the anger issues, but eff that!! Eff the refs and eff OKC!!!! Clips by 7 tomorrow!! I need my damn fighting spirit engaged and enraged!

LetsGoClips
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I've got a bad feeling about this game guys. The Thunder practically man-handled us last game at Staples, then collapsed, they beat themselves. I've got a feeling they'll come out strong with tons of confidence. It also seems that C. Paul is broken from last night's game! He looked like his dog was stolen in the post game press conference. What do you guys think?

cleepers
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We don't have to win two. Like you said, one game at a time. We put a beating on them tomorrow then let them stew for a couple of days remembering how they would be fishing already if they hadn't been bailed out.

ClippersDA
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But don't you think last game, aside from final minute collapse was the most favorable the conditions will be to win? Role players sucked and Durant was cold. We played great. And we lost.

cleepers
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I think you're the same troll I just banned on the other thread. Get a life, you product of sibling coitus.

Banned... again.

Clipperfn4lf
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Imagine if this was a close out game to go to our 1st ever WCF Sad Still crushed and trying to remain positive, but it's beyond bullshit how much favoritism OKC has received throughout the playoffs.

tense2
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Think you're trolling or if your not, you shouldn't watch the game. roll

CP3Best
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Blake Doc and CP3 just looked so... Composed...Poised. They're definitely ready for tomorrow. Can't dwell on the past. Doc just gave me some peace cause last night I couldn't sleep, you believe that?! I could not damn well sleep after such a clusterf**k. Just replayed over and over in my head... Just.......UGH! But then I listened to Doc today cyclops_ani We ain't going down swinging. We swinging alright, and swinging hard, but we only gonna go Forward!

cleepers
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DJ played half his normal minutes and played tentatively due to the foul trouble. Blake and CP had pretty average nights, scoring wise. Matter of fact, we scored less that our season average. Our defense is why we held them to 88 points until we shot OURSELVES in the foot. That defense is a lot easier to duplicate that the amazing offensive blowout from game 1... especially at home.

Besides, Durant may have shot like sh*t, but Westbrook isn't going to have another night like that.

A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
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No way we lose this game. Especially after what happened in game 5. We're coming out hungry for a win tomorrow. We're fighting for our lives. We'll be the more desperate team.

I feel a lot better after watching Doc talk after practice today. He was surprisingly positive after last night. No need to keep looking back to last night. Let's move on and force game 7. We've already proven that we can win in OKC. No one on this team should be afraid of game 7 on the road. This team is ready. Can't wait for tomorrow.

I was going to say "We'll have vengeance tomorrow," but that doesn't sound like we've moved on then haha. Let's just play like there's no tomorrow.

ClippersDA
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We shall see. I hope so.

comeONcraig
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I just hope we get the same production or even better from our SF's.

A_DOG_NAMED_BUD
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There are two main things I've learned about this team this season: 1) We never like to make things easy. 2) You can never count us out.

Unfortunately, last night we displayed more of the former. We should have executed down the stretch and finished that game. We all know what happened. Luckily for us, this team is about to show everyone the latter. There were multiple games this season, including game 7 of round 1 and game 4 of this series where it looked as if we going to lose, but we kept fighting and we found a way to win.

After game 4 against GSW no one really knew what to expect. The team seemed distracted and it seemed like the Sterling controversy would either tear this team apart or bring us together. More people seemed to believe this would be a negative for the team. It clearly brought us together. In the past few seasons, this team would collapse when we faced adversity, but not this season. Each time people start to count us out, we come right back show everyone why we're contenders.

Get ready for a fun couple of games. This team is about shock the world, people!

ohMEohMy!
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^repped! No team has ever had to deal with the adversity that this team has faced... and yet they keep bouncing back. Let's go Clippers!

relevant
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as the song goes. TOOOOONIIIIIIIGHHHHHHHTTTTTT WEEEE ARREEEEE ONNNNNNEEEEEE. So lets set the word on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.

Corny I know.

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